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Contract Law

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3291

AC41648 - U.S. Equities Corp. v. Ceraldi ("The defendant, Peggy Ceraldi, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the postjudgment motion for clarification filed by the plaintiff, U.S. Equities Corp., regarding the postjudgment interest rate to be applied to the judgment rendered against the defendant in the underlying debt collection action. The defendant claims that the court's clarification actually was an improper substantive modification of the judgment. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment setting the rate of postjudgment interest.")

AC40173, AC40434 - Konover v. Kolakowski ("This action arises from the indemnification provisions in a stock purchase and sales agreement (agreement) between the plaintiff Michael Konover and the defendants Michael Kolakowski, Simon Etzel, and Eric Brown (the buyers) for the buyers’ purchase of Konover's stock in the KBE Building Corporation (KBE). The plaintiffs appeal from the trial court's rendering of partial summary judgment in favor of the defendants. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erroneously ruled that the parties' agreement does not obligate the defendants to reimburse Konover for legal fees incurred while litigating certain legal actions that had been pending against Konover and KBE at the time the agreement was executed. In the alternative, the plaintiffs claim that, even if the language of the agreement does not require the defendants to reimburse Konover for any legal fees, the trial court should have considered admissions in the defendants' pleadings and other extrinsic evidence, which evinced an understanding between the parties that the defendants were responsible for paying their own legal fees incurred in conjunction with the referenced litigation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3274

AC40282 - Bruno v. Whipple ("This case returns to us following a remand to the trial court for a hearing in damages. See Bruno v. Whipple, 162 Conn. App. 186, 130 A.3d 899 (2015), cert. denied, 321 Conn. 901, 138 A.3d 280 (2016).The self-represented plaintiff, Lisa Bruno, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Heritage Homes Construction Company, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) improperly concluded that she failed to prove actual damages resulting from the defendant's breach of a residential construction contract and (2) exceeded the scope of the remand order. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3265

AC39973 - DE Auto Transport, Inc. v. Eurolite, LLC (Wrongful repossession, statutory theft; "The plaintiff, DE Auto Transport, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants, Eurolite, LLC (Eurolite), and Leopold Zayaczkowski. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in its damages analysis. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3262

SC20010 - Browning v. Van Brunt, DuBiago & Co., LLC ("The sole question presented in this appeal is whether the trust beneficiaries are the proper parties to bring an action against third parties on behalf of the trust. The plaintiffs—Ann Browning, Richard Browning, Lance Browning, Karen Guinta, and Jill Milligan—are beneficiaries of a trust, and appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their breach of contract claim against the defendants Dougherty & Company, LLC (Dougherty), the financial advisor for the trust, and Thomas Olander, an employee of Dougherty. Although the parties agree that the general rule is that beneficiaries of a trust lack standing to bring an action against a third party for liability to the trust, they disagree that the general rule applies under the facts of the present case. See 4 Restatement (Third), Trusts, § 107, p. 102 (2012). Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that they fit within an exception that allows beneficiaries to bring an action against third parties if the trustee improperly refuses or neglects to do so. The defendants respond that the plaintiffs do not fit within the exception to the general rule because they failed to demand that the current trustee bring an action and they did not allege in their complaint that the current trustee improperly neglected to sue the defendants. The defendants further argue that, because standing implicates subject matter jurisdiction, they properly raised the issue by way of a motion to dismiss. We conclude that the trial court properly determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the claim and, therefore, that the trial court properly granted the motion to dismiss. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3229

AC38325 - Seven Oaks Enterprises, L.P. v. DeVito ("The defendant Sherri DeVito appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered, after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiffs, Seven Oaks Enterprises, L.P. (SOE), and Seven Oaks Management Corporation (SOM), on two counts alleging breach of contract and one count alleging breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The jury awarded $1.325 million in damages to the plaintiffs. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion in denying the defendant's motion to set aside the verdict and her motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the plaintiffs did not produce the original note at trial, there was insufficient evidence that the note was lost, and the plaintiffs did not have the right to enforce the note; (2) incorrectly instructed the jury regarding SOM's right to enforce the note; (3) lacked subject matter jurisdiction over SOE because it did not have the legal capacity to commence and continue the action; and (4) abused its discretion in denying her motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and in refusing to set aside the verdict because neither plaintiff had a right to enforce the management contract, the alleged breaches did not cause any loss to the plaintiffs, and the jury could not determine with reasonable certainty the amount of damages sustained. We affirm the judgment as to SOE's claim regarding breach of the management contract and reverse as to SOE's claim of breach of contract regarding the note and all of SOM's claims.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3211

SC19970 - Suntech of Connecticut, Inc. v. Lawrence Brunoli, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Suntech of Connecticut, Inc., a Connecticut corporation that fabricates and installs glass and curtain walls, brought an action against the named defendant Lawrence Brunoli, Inc., a general contractor, and the defendant Safeco Insurance Company of America, a bonding company, alleging, inter alia, breach of its subcontract to provide labor and materials in connection with the construction of a technology center at Naugatuck Valley Community College, which is owned by the state. See Suntech of Connecticut, Inc. v. Lawrence Brunoli, Inc., 173 Conn. App. 321, 324–25, 164 A.3d 36 (2017). The plaintiff now appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants. Id., 324. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court had not committed harmful error when it (1) precluded the plaintiff's fact witness, Rick Cianfaglione, an independent consultant who had been hired by the state to evaluate the scheduling and duration of the construction project, from testifying as to his observations and perceptions about the project site, and (2) refused to permit the plaintiff's counsel to make an offer of proof, including by disregarding relevant portions of Cianfaglione's deposition transcript.

After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3198

AC40205 - Bongiorno v. Capone ("The defendant, Joseph Capone, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in accordance with the second revised finding of facts and report of an attorney trial referee (referee) to whom this case was referred for trial, awarding the plaintiff, Frank Bongiorno: compensatory damages of $17,000 on the plaintiff's claim of breach of contract, plus statutory prejudgment interest on that sum, under General Statutes § 37-3a, at the rate of 10 percent per annum; and treble damages of $51,000 on the plaintiff's claim of statutory theft under General Statutes § 52-564, less $17,000 to avoid duplication of the damages awarded for breach of contract. The defendant claims that the court improperly: (1) concluded that the plaintiff had standing in his individual capacity to pursue claims of breach of contract and statutory theft against the defendant based upon his withdrawal of $17,000 from the checking account of AAA Advantage Carting & Demolition Service, LLC (company), a limited liability company in which the defendant had a 50 percent membership interest that he had agreed to sell to the plaintiff for $200,000 on the basis of a binding term sheet that did not authorize the challenged withdrawal; (2) rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the merits of his breach of contract claim without making legal conclusions as to the applicability of the waiver-of-suit provisions in the contractual documents to that claim; and (3) rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the merits of his statutory theft claim.")


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3182

AC40187 - Kaye v. Housman ("In this housing court matter, the defendant, Douglas Housman, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Richelle Kaye, following a hearing in damages. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly held a hearing in damages in view of his operative answer and four special defenses and (2) denied him the right to due process because the court did not adjudicate fully his timely filed answer and four special defenses. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3168

AC39649 - Ajluni v. Chainani ("The defendant, Steve Sudhir Chainani, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, in which it concluded that he breached his guaranty obligation to the plaintiff, Jack Ajluni. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly determined that the applicable statute of limitations did not bar the action because (1) the relation back doctrine applied to the plaintiff’s claim and (2) certain communications between the plaintiff and the defendant reaffirmed the debt so as to toll the statute of limitations on the plaintiff’s claim. We conclude that certain e-mails exchanged between the parties reaffirmed the debt and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39942 - Downing v. Dragone ("The plaintiff, Christine Downing, brought this action to recover money owed for services she is alleged to have rendered in accordance with an agreement she had with the defendant Dragone Classic Motorcars, Inc. After a trial to the court, the court found in favor of the plaintiff on her breach of contract claim and rendered judgment accordingly. On appeal, the defendant principally claims that the trial court based its legal conclusions on a clearly erroneous finding of fact. We agree with the defendant and, therefore, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3109

AC40164 - Abrams v. PH Architects, LLC ("This appeal arises out of a dispute between a homeowner and the architectural firm and general contractor that he hired to design and perform substantial renovations to his home and surrounding property in Greenwich. The plaintiff, Marc Abrams, appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered against him on his complaint and on the counterclaims of the defendants, PH Architects, LLC (PH), and V.A.S. Construction, Inc. (VAS). The plaintiff claims on appeal that the court improperly (1) failed to enforce provisions in his contracts with VAS and PH related to the processing of change orders and invoices; (2) failed to find that VAS had breached a separate contract governing the construction of a stone wall and fence on the property; (3) failed to enforce provisions in his contract with PH pursuant to which PH agreed to provide contract administration services; (4) failed to conclude that PH was liable for professional negligence because it had breached the professional standard of care for architects; and (5) made clearly erroneous factual findings with respect to a ‘punch list’ that was prepared on behalf of the plaintiff by a third party. We are not persuaded by the plaintiff’s claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC39617 - National Waste Associates, LLC v. Scharf ("The plaintiff, National Waste Associates, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered, in part, in favor of the defendants, Danielle Scharf, Carl Slusarczyk, Waste Harmonics, LLC (Waste Harmonics), and Omega Waste Management, Inc. (Omega). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) the plaintiff could not prevail on its unjust enrichment claims, (2) a nonsolicitation provision in agreements between the plaintiff and its former employees was unenforceable as to its prospective customers, and (3) General Statutes § 35-57 (a) bars its claims under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3099

AC39966 - Hilario's Truck Center, LLC v. Rinaldi ("The principal issue in this appeal is whether a company that provided automobile towing services to an insured motorist has standing as a third-party beneficiary to bring a direct breach of contract action against the insurance company that provided automobile liability coverage to the insured. We conclude, under the circumstances of this case, that the company is not an intended third-party beneficiary of the insurance contract and therefore lacks standing to bring a direct action against the insurer.")


Landlord / Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3100

AC39847 - Magee Avenue, LLC v. Lima Ceramic Tile, LLC ("The plaintiff, Magee Avenue, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Moufid Makhraz, on the plaintiff’s complaint alleging two counts of breach of contract and one count of unjust enrichment. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) rendered summary judgment because the defendant’s affidavit in support of the defendants’ motion for summary judgment was untimely and insufficient; (2) permitted and considered the defendant’s testimony during the hearing on the motion; and (3) permitted the defendant to amend orally his motion for summary judgment to include all counts when the written motion only sought relief from the two counts of breach of contract. We agree with the plaintiff’s claims and reverse the judgment.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3076

AC39834 - DAB Three, LLC v. LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc.("In this action arising from the alleged breach of contract for the procurement of an environmental insurance policy, the plaintiff, DAB Three, LLC, appeals from the judgments rendered in favor of the defendants LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. (LFG), LandAmerica Environmental Insurance Service Agency, Inc. (LEISA), Sandra Fitzpatrick, and Debra Moser. The plaintiff claims that the trial court erred (1) in dismissing its breach of contract claim against LFG for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and (2) in rendering summary judgment in favor of LEISA, Fitzpatrick and Moser on the plaintiff’s breach of contract claims against them. We agree with the plaintiff that the summary judgment rendered in favor of LEISA cannot stand. We disagree, however, with the plaintiff’s claims of error as to the dismissal of its claim against LFG and the rendering of summary judgments in favor of Fitzpatrick and Moser. Accordingly, we reverse in part and affirm in part the judgments of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3056

AC40078 - Emeritus Senior Living v. Lepore ("The plaintiff, Emeritus Senior Living a/k/a Brookdale Woodbridge, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant, Denise Lepore, in this action filed by the plaintiff to collect the unpaid balance due for assisted living services it had provided to the defendant’s now deceased mother, Louise Rolla. The plaintiff claims that the court erred by finding that the residency agreement, to the extent it holds the defendant personally liable, as Rolla’s representative, for unpaid amounts owed by Rolla to the plaintiff, is void and unenforceable because it is (1) unconscionable and (2) against public policy. We agree and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3047

AC40896 - Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc. v. Pineda ("The plaintiff, Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion for postmaturity postjudgment interest. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly denied the motion in light of General Statutes § 37-1 and our Supreme Court’s decision in Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc. v. Butts, 315 Conn. 433, 108 A.3d 228 (2015). We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3038

AC40442 - Murallo v. United Builders Supply Co. ("The plaintiff, Randy Murallo, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered after a trial to the court in favor of the defendant, United Builders Supply Co., Inc.The plaintiff claims that the court erred in finding that (1) the parties had not formed a contract and (2) the decking materials sold by the defendant were not defective. We conclude that the court's finding that no contract existed between the parties was clearly erroneous. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3027

AC39680 - Bracken v. Windsor Locks ("In this action for breach of a settlement agreement, the plaintiff, Michael S. Bracken, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, the town of Windsor Locks. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erroneously concluded that the plaintiff’s action was barred by (1) the six year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes § 52-576, and (2) the doctrine of laches. We conclude that the central factual finding underlying the court’s conclusion that the defendant’s special defenses barred the action was clearly erroneous. We further conclude that the defendant failed to meet its burden of proving that its special defenses barred the plaintiff’s action. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand this case for further proceedings.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3007

AC40296 - Reyher v. Finkeldey ("The defendant, John A. Finkeldey, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Mark R. Reyher, a licensed real estate broker doing business as Reyher Real Estate, requiring payment of his commission. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that the plaintiff procured a buyer who was ready, willing and able to purchase the defendant’s property under the terms of the listing agreement. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3000

SC19721 - Meribear Productions, Inc. v. Frank ("A threshold jurisdictional issue in this case requires us to clarify the circumstances under which there can be an appealable final judgment when the trial court’s decision does not dispose of counts advancing alternative theories of relief. The plaintiff, Meribear Productions, Inc., brought an action against the defendants, Joan E. Frank and George A. Frank, for common-law enforcement of a foreign default judgment, breach of contract and quantum meruit. Judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff against each of the defendants under different counts of the complaint. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment on the merits, and this court thereafter granted the defendants’ petition for certification to appeal from that judgment. Upon further review, it is apparent that the judgment was not final as to George Frank, and, therefore, the Appellate Court lacked jurisdiction over the defendants’ joint appeal.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2958

SC19878 - Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman ("The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether the thirty day deadline provided by Practice Book § 11-21, which governs motions for attorney’s fees, is directory rather than mandatory, thus affording a trial court discretion to entertain untimely motions. The plaintiff, Meadowbrook Center, Inc., a nursing facility, appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court, which denied as untimely a motion filed by the defendant, Robert Buchman, seeking an award of attorney’s fees pursuant to General Statutes § 42-150bb. Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman, 169 Conn. App. 527, 529, 151 A.3d 404 (2016). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the thirty day deadline provided by Practice Book § 11-21 is mandatory and that, therefore, the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court was required to exercise discretion in deciding whether to entertain the defendant’s untimely motion, and (2) even if the trial court had discretion to entertain an untimely motion for attorney’s fees, the defendant’s motion in the present case was barred as a matter of law. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


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